With less than two months to go before Election Day, a new national poll released Friday morning showed the presidential race virtually tied, with President Obama pulling into a slight lead over Mitt Romney that is inside the poll’s margin of error.
In the New York Times/CBS poll, Obama leads by three percentage points, 49 percent to 46 percent, among voters considered likely to cast ballots in November. The poll’s margin of sampling error is three points for each candidate.
Obama also held leads in the swing states of Virginia, Florida, and Ohio, according to a batch of NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls released Thursday. In an encouraging sign for the president, Obama’s seven percentage point lead among likely voters in Ohio exceeded the poll’s margin of error.
As the election nears, more pollsters are adjusting their poll results to screen out respondents who are registered, but unlikely to vote. Among the wider pool of registered voters, Friday’s New York Times/CBS survey found Obama with a bigger lead, 51 percent to Romney’s 43 percent. That’s a significant gain for the president since July, when the same poll found Romney had a one-point lead among registered voters.
The poll results come on the heels of a slew of other opinions polls conducted after the Democratic convention that show Obama with a single-digit lead over Romney. A Reuters poll published Wednesday found Obama had a thin lead over Romney among likely voters. A Fox News poll also published on Wednesday showed Obama had climbed into a five-percentage point lead among likely voters, compared to a one-point lead for Romney in Fox’s previous poll.
The New York Times/CBS poll was conducted over five days, from Saturday to Wednesday — after the Democratic convention and last week’s disappointing unemployment report, but largely before the killing of US ambassador J. Christopher Stevens in Libya on Tuesday.